Johnson Tiles was founded in 1901 as H&R Johnson Ltd., by the Norcros Group in the United Kingdom. H&R Johnson became a market leader and was famous throughout the UK for quality products.
Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the Norcros Group expanded the organisation and developed sister companies in South Africa, Greece and India as well as offices in Dubai and USA. These companies flourished and the Norcros Group then had a considerable global presence and buying strength.
Having grown strongly in the Northern Hemisphere, the Norcros Group felt ready to enter the Australian market thus on 22nd June 1963, Johnson Tiles Australia, trading as H&R Johnson Australia PTY LTD was born. Two sites were set up – a manufacturing plant in Mascot, New South Wales and another in Coburg, Victoria. Both factories produced ceramic tiles and other ceramic goods for over twenty years and employed more than 600 Australians.
The evolution of Johnson Tiles
By the mid-eighties, H&R Johnson Australia was due for a change. In 1984, their trading name was officially changed from H&R Johnson Australia to Johnson Tiles Australia and a brand new manufacturing facility was built in Croydon, Victoria. The Croydon plant became the primary production site for all Johnson Tiles tile and ceramic products. The antiquated Mascot and Coburg factories were closed.
Milestones-Expansion of the company
Around the same time, Johnson Tiles Australia purchased two companies in Bayswater, Victoria: Sovereign Potteries and Johnson Brothers. Johnson Brothers were the primary supplier of the materials used for producing ceramic products.
In the early-nineties, Johnson Tiles Australia invested heavily in converting the two newly acquired Bayswater companies into a brand new, state-of-the-art site with new kilns, machinery and warehouses. By the mid-nineties, product development, manufacturing, production, testing, head office and a sales outlet were all situated at the Bayswater plant, employing over 300 staff.
Johnson Tiles in Australia
Johnson Tiles Australia in Bayswater had three plants – floor tile, wall tile and decoration. In 1995, the Bayswater site was expanded further with the commissioning of Plant B which allowed Johnson Tiles Australia to produce a greater array of different sized wall tile products. The first Johnson Tiles retail and trade shop at Bayswater was set up.
By 2001, Johnson Tiles Australia had also become the Bunnings Warehouse (Australia) primary supplier of floor tile, wall tile and decoration products.
The Bayswater site continued producing wall and floor tiles of the highest quality for another ten years. However, in 2004, Floor Tile Plant A and in 2005, Wall Tile Plants A and B were closed due to the age of the equipment and rising costs of maintenance.
Despite the closure, Johnson Tiles Australia continued to create and distribute the floor, wall and mosaic products for another 10 years.
In 2014, Johnson Tiles Australia was acquired by Kim Hin Industry Berhad, a public listed company in Malaysia with three manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and one in China. Johnson Tiles Australia continues its manufacturing tradition and have taken a huge leap forward in style, quality and production techniques.
Today, Johnson Tiles Australia head office is still in Bayswater, Victoria. Five brand new showrooms were set up across Australia with six distribution centres (including two in New Zealand) and our products can be found in almost every Bunnings Warehouse throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Johnson Tiles Australia has a tradition of passion for tiles and is well known for the quality of our products and service. If you’re looking for a tile, Johnson Tiles can look after you! After all, there’s a reason why we’re over 50 years strong.